Understanding the Nuances of Leveling a Concrete Floor

Flooring is an essential part of any house. Most often, homeowners give priority to aspects like décor, windows and walls, thus not paying much attention to the floors. It is, however, very important to regularly check the condition of the floors and make necessary changes when required.

Possible Reasons that Concrete Floors are Damaged
Cracked Concrete Flooring

  • Voids – Almost all floors, including those made from concrete can develop wear and tear over a period of time. The major problem with concrete floors is cracks, which leads to a void between adjacent areas.
  • Curling and Shrinkage – Other problems like curling at joints, joint failure and heaving are also commonly noticed in concrete floors. Curling is a result of different curing conditions on the two sides of a newly placed concrete block. Usually the top dries faster than the bottom thus causing the piece to reduce in size.
  • Cracks – Another major reason for cracks to develop on concrete floors is continuous contact with excess moisture. This usually happens to the floors of those rooms where the air conditioner or washing machine is placed. Continued exposure to dampness is very harmful to flooring in the long run.

The Process of Repairing and Leveling a Concrete Floor

  1. Clear the room – Before leveling, one must remove all furniture, and any other items from the room thus leaving it empty.
  2. Check for high and low points – You can do this by moving a carpenter’s level all over the floor. The level will give you a rough idea about the areas that require maximum leveling. Knowing the lowest points early on is an advantage as one can immediately start work on filing them.
  3. Clean the floor – The next step is to clean the floor using a vacuum. It is very important that the floor is free of dust, debris, oil traces, concrete chips and other particles as debris can affect the leveling process.
  4. Fill low/high points – After ensuring that the floor is clean, start filling low spots using a concrete repair mixture. While tackling high spots one usually makes use of a concrete floor grinder. It is very important to wear eye protection gear and a face mask while using the grinder.
  5. Level the floor out – After the high and low points have been identified, the next step is to fill them with self-leveling compound. For this, one has to first mix the compound following the manufacturer’s instructions. Then pour the self-leveling compound on the floor in such a way that it covers the entire area. The concrete mix will automatically start filling out the high and low points, and level the floor out. The self-leveling compound will be effective only if it covers the entire area of the floor.
  6. Smooth out the surface – In the end, people usually run a steel floor smoother over the floor to smooth the surface and fill in any points not covered by the self-leveling compound. The mixture is left to dry for nearly 24 hours before placing the tile.

It is very important to carry out the leveling process in a correct manner as any mistake will greatly affect the next step i.e. tiling.


3 thoughts on “Understanding the Nuances of Leveling a Concrete Floor

  1. You mentioned that cracks can cause voids between areas to appear. There’s a large gap in my sidewalk where it meets my front steps, and one side is lower than the other. It makes it hard for my mother to get to our door in her wheelchair. Maybe I could find a concrete leveling service that can repair it so I don’t have to replace the whole sidewalk.

  2. I like that you mentioned how leveling a concrete floor would require a lot of effort since you’ll have to clear the room, inspect the concrete, clean the floor, smoothen it, and others. That’s perfect to learn since I was thinking of having ours leveled soon due to the presence of cracks. I’ll be sure to have ours serviced by professionals to make sure that the process will be easier and more practical. Thanks!

  3. Sometimes the issue with the floor becoming uneven is it’s actually sinking due to the footings underneath settling. In the case of Hannah’s comment above that’s likely what has happened.
    In those situations you can often have companies come in and inject either mud or polyurethane foam under the concrete section raising and levelling it resolving the problem.
    Obviously this is a far better solution for exterior concrete, but depending on the issue and how the concrete was poured in a basement or inside a property it can often also be an option

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